Fatty acid-binding proteins (FABPs) are a family of transport proteins that facilitate intracellular transport of fatty acids. Despite abundant expression in the brain, the role that FABPs play in the process of cell proliferation and migration in the subventricular zone (SVZ) remains unclear. Our results provide a detailed characterisation of FABP3, 5, and 7 expression in adult and fetal human and sheep SVZ. High FABP5 expression was specifically observed in the adult human SVZ and co-labelled with polysialylated neural cell adhesion molecule (PSA-NCAM), glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), GFAPδ, and proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA), indicating a role for FABP5 throughout the full maturation process of astrocytes and neuroblasts. Some FABP5+ cells had a radial glial-like appearance and co-labelled with the radial glia markers vimentin (40E-C) and GFAP. In the fetal human brain, FABP5 was expressed by radial glia cells throughout the ventricular zone. In contrast, radial glia-like cells in sheep highly expressed FABP3. Taken together, these differences highlight the species-specific expression profile of FABPs in the SVZ. In this study, we demonstrate the distribution of FABP in the adult human SVZ and fetal ventricular zone and reveal its expression on persistent radial glia that may be involved in adult neurogenesis.

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